Item description for The Woodbook by Klaus Ulrich Leistikow...
"The specimens, as things of beauty, are greatly to be prized.... The work is valuable and unique." ---The Boston Globe, on the original edition
Culled and assembled by Romeyn Beck Hough between 1888 and 1913 in what still remains and stunning and unparalleled achievement, American Woods ---originally published in 14 volumes, with actual specimens mounted on card stock---is a work of breathtaking beauty that has set the standard for study of trees and wood. TASCHEN's Wood Book reproduces, in painstaking facsimile, all of the specimen pages from the original volumes; for this purpose we have obtained the use of an extremely rare original set of volumes in very good condition, with minimal damage to the wood cuts. For each tree, three different cross-section cuts of wood are represented (radial, horizontal, and vertical), demonstrating the particular characteristics of the grain and the wealth of colors and textures to be found among the many different wood types. Also included in this special edition are lithographs by Charles Sprague Sargent of the leaves and nuts of most trees, as well as texts describing the trees' geographical origins and physical characteristics. Interior designers, craftsmen, nature enthusiasts, and artists alike will enjoy this beautiful collection of wood samples which includes many trees that are now very rare or completely extinct.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.62" Width: 7.68" Height: 3.22" Weight: 6.1 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2002
ISBN 3822817422 ISBN13 9783822817421
Reviews - What do customers think about The Woodbook?
The Woodbook Mar 14, 2003
A facsimile of a rare masterpiece: a 14-volume treasury of American woods that appeared a century ago. The original carried actual veneers; this one volume version has almost as strong a visceral quality and is packaged in its own wood box. Anyone who has hugged a tree will want to browse these pages, reveling in the subtle tones and florid grains of cork elm and swamp maple, prickly ash and black calabash. (Michael Webb is the book reviewer for LA Architect magazine.)
This is really something Sep 29, 2002
Anybody taking this book to hand will be impressed. The publisher went all out to make this as luxurious an edition as possible, even providing a plywood box to keep the book in. The printing quality is beautiful and the woods are presented in close to (glorious) natural color. For every wood a separate picture is presented, as is proper, of a transverse, a radial and a tangential surface (ie a cross, a quartersawn and a flatsawn surface).
However, lots of quibbles are possible. Firstly the book is misnamed: the title 'The_Woodbook' suggests rather more than is actually covered. It is a reprint (sort of) of 'The_American_Woods' which also was misnamed, presenting only woods grown in the US. It is safe to say that better than 95% of the important woods of the world are not present in 'The_Woodbook'. Secondly it is not an actual reprint. It would be more acurate to say that it is a facsimile reproduction of the woods in one of the copies of 'The_American_Woods' accompanied by modern text. This modern text is an amalgamation of that in 'The_American_Woods' and of that in Sargent's masterpiece. More troublesome in my opinion is the 'artsy' approach with the black background of all the pages (except those which are golden): this blackness is not only on the verge of being depressing, but also is hindering easy reading of the text and outright blocks being able to view the line-drawings of tree morphology on every page (actually I must admit that after browsing through the book several times I only discovered these drawings after having read in the introduction that a drawing was presented on every page. A search then turned them up quickly). The printing quality of these drawings is fairly good but it is very hard to make them out against the background (tilting the book to catch a favorable gleam of light does help). The supporting text is of course quite brief, due to the fact that it must be repeated on the same page in german and french, and still leave room for artistic black (or golden) 'white' space. On the upside, errors in botanical names are actually quite few, at least when disregarding the offences against author names.
All in all, this is a very creditable effort, which will be treasured by many who love wood (and especially so in the US).